Who's Who in
Shōtōkan-ryū?) is a school of karate, developed from various martial arts by
Funakoshi (1868–1957) and his son Yoshitaka Funakoshi (1906–1945).
Gichin Funakoshi is widely recognized as having brought karate from Okinawa
to mainland Japan, although Kenwa Mabuni, Chōki Motobu, and other Okinawan
karate masters were actively teaching karate in Japan prior to this point.
Shōtō ("pine waves") was Funakoshi's pen-name, while kan means "house."
Hence, shōtō-kan was the name of the hall where Funakoshi trained his
Shotokan is one of the four traditional karate styles, the others being
Shitō-ryū, and Wadō-ryū.
Although it began as a unified karate school that developed into the Japan
Karate Association, Shotokan now exists as several independent
Shotokan training is usually divided into
three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite
(sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterized by deep, long
stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen
the legs. Strength and power are often demonstrated instead of slower, more
flowing motions. Kumite techniques mirror these stances and movements at a
basic level, but progress to being more flexible with greater experience.
Funakoshi reportedly found traditional martial arts (e.g., sumo, jujutsu,
and kenjutsu) to be too focused on combat; he emphasized health, breathing,
release of energy, and concentrated mind- and body-control. Shotokan can be
regarded as a 'hard' and 'external' martial art.
Shotokan Karate VHS
Shotokan Karate DVD
Shotokan Karate Links